Strange Horned Hoofed Animals in an Australian Back Garden?

Those of you who have read my posts as if studying for an exam will know that Mrs BobinOz and I run a local pet care service in our own and surrounding suburbs. We feed people’s pets for them whilst they are away from their homes, for whatever reason.

This means we often find ourselves in other people’s back gardens which has led to some unusual sightings, the huge mushroom and the wild deer are two examples that you may have read about in my post Australia’s Other Wildlife and Fauna.

Well, the other day I visited a local customer to feed his fish and chooks, or chickens as I used to call them before I became Australian. But this time he had a couple of additional pets, he informed me in an email, two guinea pigs in the back garden.

I arrived at his house later than I had wanted to, because on a previous call I discovered a cat struggling for breath and virtually paralysed, the obvious signs of having been bitten by a tick. Ticks are nasty here in Australia as you will know from my post The Life of a Tick.

Anyway, after an hour and a half round trip to the emergency vet, it was a bank holiday weekend, I’m pleased to say the cat lived. But the delay meant it was getting dark by the time I arrived to feed the fish, chooks and guinea pigs.

The first thing I wanted to look for before it got too dark, were those guinea pigs. As I walked round the back I saw two animals I’d never seen before, they didn’t look like guinea pigs to me…

AnimalsApologies for the terrible pictures here, but I only had my iPhone with me. I tried to get a little closer, but these animals simply moved away. But I did get a couple of better pictures…

Animals closerAnd this was the best one…

Hoofed AnimalLet’s look closer…

GoatsGoats! Yes there are two, one is standing directly behind the other.

At this stage I’m thinking “He did say guinea pigs, didn’t he? I would have remembered if he had said goats, wouldn’t I?

So, with all the other strange imported wildlife we have here, I wondered if feral goats could be added to that list.

The simple answer to that is yes.

Feral goats in Australia

It’s a story we’ve heard so many times before and which I told in my post Brumby, Brumbies or Brumby’s: What Does It Mean? In fact these goats may well have come over on the same fleet in 1788 as those Brumbies.

Just like all the other imported pests in that post, the feral goat causes environmental damage to our vegetation, soil and native fauna.

I did find those guinea pigs, and I’ve not seen the goats since, even though I have been to this house to feed the animals about six more times. Having looked into feral goats in Australia, it’s more likely that these two goats were a neighbours pets and they’d just gone walkies; I found no evidence of feral goats this close to Brisbane city.

Or are they?

You see, this house is at the very end of this road…

The roadAnd at the very end of this road, is this…

BushIt’s what we call the bush, this bit of bush in particular is known simply as State Forest Reserve, and even further behind that would be Brisbane Forest Park also known as the D’Aguilar National Park. We are talking 25,000 hectares of bush.

So everywhere you look around this house you will see views like this…

More bush

More bush

More bush

More bushSo, feral goats or pets on walkies? Anybody have any idea? Maybe we’ll never know.

Feral goats are in every state in Australia though; I’m just not sure they would have been found just 22 kilometres from Brisbane. Here though, in probably the shortest YouTube I’ve put on this website, are a couple of feral goats near Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia…

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